I’m sure that most of us agree that each dog has its own personality. If you ask me, I love it when photographers manage to capture those animal personalities in photos. German photographer Elke Vogelsang does it, but she brings out the funny side of her four-legged models. Her dog portraits are adorable, fun, and as goofy as it gets. If they don’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.
Elke is a commercial and editorial photographer specializing, as you might have guessed, in pet portraiture. And while her photos are playful and fun, they came to being during a very difficult period in her life. She started her project in 2009 while caring for her sick mother-in-law, and shortly before her husband slipped into a coma due to a ruptured aneurysm. She wanted to “keep up a bit of normality,” as she says, during this painful time. So, she started by photographing her three beautiful Spanish rescue mutts. Other than giving her a relief, it was also a sort of a visual diary for her husband.
What started as a personal project soon became a passion for Elke. She confirms what I mentioned in the introduction that every dog has a unique personality. Other than photographing pet dogs in her home country, Elke has even traveled to Morocco and Spain to photograph shelter and street dogs. She says that it was quite a challenge, considering that these pups didn’t know any basic commands. But, her patience paid off. After all, patience is one of the crucial traits needed when photographing animals.
Precisely because every dog has its own personality, Elke says that each of them requires a different approach at the shoot. Not every dog reacts the same to being in the spotlight or being surrounded by new people. Elke respects that and always tries to behave in a way that makes the pups relaxed and has them trust her. In the end, their fun side always surfaces. I firmly believe that every dog has it, and Elke captures it perfectly!